It's hard being on a diet. You've planned your meals in advance, got lots of healthy foods in, written your meal plan, prepped in advance until you are sick of it! But you're still struggling - it can be very tempting to throw in the towel and give up! But before you do that try these simple hacks for making your dieting easier.....
One of the most common problems with weight loss is hunger. Nobody wants to be hungry! Being hungry when dieting is a sure-fire way to fall off the wagon even for the most committed, determined individual. It doesn't make you a bad person, we're only human after all! Being permanently hungry makes live unpleasant and difficult, one of the reasons you'll never catch me doing the 5:2 diet - I would struggle to do anything more than get out of bed on 500 calories a day!!!
The following four simple strategies can really help you with your diet, by helping you feel full and stopping those cravings. Give them a try!
1. Make sure you eat plenty of protein and have it in each meal. Protein plays a big role in muscle development, and if you're doing weights while losing weight I strongly recommend you ensure you are getting enough of it. Protein is also very satiating, that is it makes you feel fuller for longer. Studies have shown that a high-protein meal can help you feel more full over the course of the day. Therefore this helps to remove the temptation to snack if you're actually not feeling hungry. With each meal, including breakfast (think eggs and/or high protein yogurts) have a good size portion of protein but cut down on the serving of carbs and increase your veggies (more about that later)
2. Eat high-volume foods. These will help you feel full too, but you should only eat these if you have already increased your protein but you're still feeling hungry. These foods contain more fibre, which helps you feel fuller and also gives the psychological perception of eating more food. Foods in this category include:
So if you are eating plenty of protein but still feeling hungry before your next meal try eating an apple to help curb your hunger
3. Eat more slowly. This allows your brain to receive the "I'm full" signals from your stomach and then you will be less likely to overeat. If you eat more slowly, enjoy your food and put your knife and fork down between each mouthful this will help. Also, ask yourself before you reach for the next snack - "am I actually hungry, do I need this food or is it just a habit/boredom?". Simply listening to your hunger cues and your body can help you eat a bit less. Don't feel you have to eat everything on your plate - as my family will tell you I am a slow eater and as a child I was never forced to finish my food if I had eaten enough, all good habits with hindsight. When I was older I was encouraged to leave the table always feeling like I could eat a little bit more. The result of which is I never overeat, as I hate that feeling of being stuffed.
4. Sleep. Us mums often struggle to get good-quality sleep (understatement!). Even those of us with older children (mine are 9 and 5) may still have problems - I've been woken up several times by mine in recent nights. If you don't get enough quality sleep you are going to find junk food more tempting and due to your tiredness you will be hungrier and give into temptation more easily. A sugar hit to get you through the day can be very appealing! Therefore if you're seriously trying to lose weight one of the best things you can do is get as much quality sleep as you can as this will help you to control your appetite. People who only sleep for a few hours a night show greater levels of hunger hormones, which makes sticking to a diet an uphill struggle. Easier said than done I know! But it a very simple, effective and cheap way of helping you achieve your weight-loss aims.
So there's a few additional easy ideas for you to include in your weight-loss strategies.
Give them a go and let me know how you get on. Feel free to post a comment and if you've found it useful please like and share with anyone you think will find it helpful. Thank you!
Exercise For Mum's was created by PT mum Susan Flintoff. Susan is a busy working mum of two who specialises in helping other busy mum's fit health and fitness back into their lives, and hopes to inspire them to be the best mum they can be!!